Fairborn group opposes plan for new Wawa gas station; vote delayed to December

Gas-food-convenience chain hopes to build 5,919-square-foot site at 600 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Road

A city of Fairborn vote on changes to a proposed Wawa gas station/convenience store has been delayed until a week before Christmas — timing that some residents who are opposed to the plan questioned.

The business requested the postponement of a city council public hearing that had been set for last week.

Pennsylvania-based Wawa plans to build a 5,919-square-foot site on 2.2 acres at 600 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Road, just west of Interstate 675′s Exit 20. The site would include include 30-35 full-time jobs, records show.

The Dec. 18 hearing will come after contested November elections for mayor and council seats, and during one of the busiest holiday weeks of the year, residents who oppose the plan said.

Credit: STAFF

Credit: STAFF

It’s a proposal to which several nearby residents are “vehemently opposed,” said Kyle Massie, a member of the Hidden Valley Homeowners Association, which he said includes 144 homes.

“We intend to ask council members for their official positions before November, so we can inform our community as to who stands with us and who stands with Wawa,” Massie told council. “We’ll vote (in November) accordingly. I’ve looked at the numbers. It’s enough to swing elections.”

The city’s planning board last month suggested denial of the Wawa proposal. Massie said Wawa’s plan seeking a change to Fairborn’s zoning goes against the city’s economic development plan.

That document seeks to “focus on emerging industries to attract and maintain millennials and well-paying jobs,” Massie said.

“I represent both those” categories, he added. “If you build a gas station behind my house, I will leave and I’ll take my high-paying job with me.”

Another resident opposed to Wawa’s plan also questioned the timing of the hearing.

“The week before Christmas is the busiest time of year for everyone,” she said. “Is that the plan — that no one would be able to attend?”

Neither Wawa officials nor the city gave specific reasons for the delay. But a Wawa representative said earlier the business does not have a timeline for the project.

Fairborn Councilwoman Mary Reaster said “there’s a lot of things that we cannot discuss as council members because of legalese and things like that. But we do hear you. We do discuss it. I understand. Having sat on that side, it is frustrating sometimes.”

Reaster said sometimes “we can’t talk until a certain stage of things,” but “we do hear you. We take it to heart.”

The business known for its food and beverage offerings — such as custom-made hoagies and specialty drinks — announced plans in December 2022 to expand to Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

It also has plans for sites in Butler County, Huber Heights and in Warren County.

“Wawa makes significant long-term investments in each location,” Wawa Inc. Senior Manager of Media Relations Lori Bruce told the Dayton Daily News earlier. “We couldn’t be more excited to bring Wawa’s unique offer to new markets in the near future.”

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